Here, we will be looking at 20 top players that will be out of contract this summer and can open talks to join other clubs.
The long-awaited January transfer window is now opened and there are several players across Europe whose contracts remain for six months on current deals.
Tons of deals are happening and negotiations for potential signings and contract extensions are about to take place.
Meanwhile, several top players will be looking forward to assessing their current club before discerning whether to commit their future to their current club or seek a new challenge elsewhere.
Here are 20 top players who are now free to enter talks with clubs abroad over a potential summer transfer.
Karim Benzema (Real Madrid)
The 2022 Ballon d’Or winner, Benzema who won the award for the first time has revealed his intention to remain at Real Madrid following the club’s intent to retain him.
The 35-year-old France International forward played a sterling role in Real Madrid’s 14th Champions League victory, as well as winning the La Liga title, scoring 44 goals in 46 matches last season.
Luka Modric (Real Madrid)
Luka Modric has professed he would want to retire at Real Madrid, where he has won up to five Champions League trophies and three La Liga titles.
Even though the 37-year-old Croatian football icon has been viewed as the next potential target for Saudi Arabian football, following Cristiano Ronaldo’s move to Al-Nassr, Modric confirmed he would devote his future to Madrid after his nation’s third-place finish at the Qatar World Cup.
Toni Kroos (Real Madrid)
Toni Kroos is another Real Madrid stalwart whose deal might expire this summer.
The German midfielder has been a crucial part of the club’s success since he joined Madrid from Bayern Munich in 2014 for £20 million.
The Champions League hero, Real Madrid is expected to pen Kroos a new deal.
Marco Asensio (Real Madrid)
Asensio is expected to push for a move away from Madrid in the summer after concurrent game time decline, but both parties are reported to be in talks for a potential deal extension.
Youri Tieleman (Leicester City)
Leicester City have been working tirelessly to convince Youri Tielemans to sign a new contract for the past 18 months.
However, the Belgian has refused to agree to extend his contract and instead holds out for offers from elsewhere.
Premier League toppers Arsenal are long-time admirers of Tielemans, but, won’t be able to make him an offer this month due to regulations.
While Tielemans and Leicester maintain good relationship despite his refusal to sign a new deal, it is possible he will leave in the summer even though it is unclear where he would go.
Adrien Rabiot (Juventus)
The Juventus star Rabiot had attempted to sign for Manchester United in the summer, but his salary demands put the Red Devils off his signature.
And despite featuring for France at the Qatar World Cup, those same demands have also put Juventus off now agreeing on a fresh deal.
The 27-year-old Frenchman has had suitors for top Premier League clubs, with Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, and Tottenham all said to want his signature.
Memphis Depay (Barcelona)
Depay is likely to leave Barcelona, whether in the January transfer window of the summer following his limited game time at the club.
The 28-year-old Dutchman has only featured in three matches this season for the Catalans due to a thigh injury, before representing Holland at the World Cup.
Roma FC, Juventus and his former club Manchester United have all reportedly been linked for his signature with Barcelona willing to offload Depay amid their financial crises.
N’Golo Kante (Chelsea)
The 31-year-old Frenchman is arguably one of the best defensive midfielders football world currently has.
However, Kante’s quality has been reduced following his injuries over the last 18 months and has only been seen on the field twice so far this season for the Blues.
Kante could leave Stamford Bridge at the end of his deal if his contract extension with Chelsea fails and Barcelona are among interested clubs eyeing his signature.
Another Chelsea maestro is Jorginho and the Blues are expected to offer an extension to the midfielder.
Jorginho has made over 200 appearances for the club since signing from Napoli in 2018 and a return to the Serie A leaders is perceived as the midfielder’s first choice should a new deal fail.
Meanwhile, his former Napoli and Chelsea manager Maurizio Sarri could offer him another opportunity to play Italian football with Lazio, while Barcelona and Newcastle are also reported to have an interest in the 31-year-old.
David De Gea (Manchester United)
De Gea has affirmed his ambition to remain at Old Trafford where he has made over 500 appearances across the past 12 seasons, with the Spaniard the last member of their title-winning side of the 2013 season.
Manchester United activated one-year extension deals for Marcus Rashford, Luke Shaw, Fred, and Diogo Dalot in December but they are yet to take up the option with Spaniard goalkeeper De Gea.
It is believed that the club could offer De Gea a shorter-term deal, and ask him to considerably lower his £375,000-a-week wages to stay beyond the end of the season.
Wilfred Zaha (Crystal Palace)
Zaha could eventually earn the big-club move he has been longing for the past few years as he enters his 30s.
The Ivorian has been an excellent Crystal Palace member, helping the south London club to thrive in the Premier League with his captivating renditions.
Barcelona is reportedly interested in bringing Zaha to Spain.
The Catalans have a good record of meeting pre-contract agreements in recent years, notably Franck Kessie and Sergio Aguero – and could be the same with Zaha this month.
Roberto Firmino (Liverpool)
Roberto Firmino has been linked to several clubs as his deal at Anfield comes to a close.
With Barcelona, Juventus, Atletico Madrid, boyhood club Sao Paulo and clubs in Saudi Arabia eyeing the Brazilian, Firmino is likely to depart Anfield following his limited game time at the club.
Having fallen out of favor at Anfield since the arrivals of Diogo Jota, Luis Diaz, Darwin Nunez and now Cody Gakpo, Firmino’s time at Liverpool is on the verge of cessation.
Trossard is one of Brighton’s important players who have thrived in the past years.
His significance has dramatically risen due to his Premier League displays at the club this season.
Trossard has seven goals already in the league this season and he is not showing any signs of slowing down.
Chelsea and Newcastle are reportedly on the go to add Trossard to their increasingly formidable ranks.
But both clubs wouldn’t be able to sign the Belgian star in the January window on a pre-contract agreement.
Stefan de Vrij(Inter Milan)
Inter Milan’s central defense could be vulnerable to downfall if both Milan Skriniar and Stefan De Vrij choose to sign a pre-contract agreement elsewhere.
Stefan De Vrij has been offered a contract extension to remain at Inter, with the 30-year-old’s performances in the heart of the club’s central defense have been impressive, leading them to ascend back up the league table.
Raphael Guerreiro(Borussia Dortmund)
The Portuguese star is a versatile player who is capable of working from both left-back and left midfield.
Guerrero is likely to exit Dortmund as he is reportedly refusing to sign a new deal with the club.
Having played at the club since he joined in 2016, Guerrero is now keen on a new challenge elsewhere.
Both Juventus and Leeds are reportedly in serious bids for the Portuguese but it remains to be seen where he would like to go as he is yet to make up his mind.
Naby Keita of Liverpool has failed to impress the Merseyside club since he joined for over £50 million in 2018.
And despite Merseyside’s pressing issue in central midfield, it seems the Guinean player is not a requirement to Jurgen Klopp.
It remains to be seen where Keita will be playing his football next season as a deal extension at Liverpool doesn’t seem forthcoming, while speculation linking him with a move elsewhere has also shrunk recently.
Thomas Lemar (Atletico Madrid)
Thomas Lemar is yet to confirm an extension to his contract at Atletico Madrid, despite claims in the summer suggesting that he would stay until 2027.
Coach Diego Simeone has often utilized France International in several positions, accentuating his versatility.
The Frenchman has made 13 appearances in all competitions for the Spanish giants this season.
The versatile attacker, who joined Diego Simeone’s side in 2018, has previously been linked to some Premier League clubs but EPL move for Lemar doesn’t look likely, with AC Milan working hard to bring him to the San Siro.
Milan Skriniar(Inter Milan)
Skriniar is in his sixth season with Inter Milan and has been impressing across Europe since he joined the Italian giants in 2017 summer.
Inter Milan has been working hard not to lose a versatile playmaker like Skriniar as they strive to tie him down to a new deal.
If an extension fails, Tottenham and Arsenal are both ready to negotiate with contract offers of their own.
Dembele joined the French side from Celtic in a £20 million transfer deal in 2018, with the forward going on to score 69 goals in 158 appearances for the club.
The 27-year-old has failed to maintain his impressive form this season as he has only scored twice in 14 League appearances.
Dembele has been mentioned as a feasible option for Manchester United on a cut-price deal in January, after turning down an extension in the summer.
Houssem Aouar (Lyon)
Another Lyon star is Aouar who has been the subject of interest from a host of Premier League and European clubs.
Premier League leaders Arsenal and Tottenham were previously holding an interest in the midfielder, while Crystal Palace and Nottingham Forest were keen on a move last summer.
The 24-year-old midfielder could finally set his foot out of Lyon, where he has scored 41 goals in 222 appearances.
Meanwhile, Jose Mourinho’s Roma are thought to be the frontrunners to land the playmaker.